Smartphones are popular largely because of the devices’ ability to provide the latest information on everything from stock market surges to basketball scores, Facebook statuses and trending videos. More importantly, Smartphones are valuable because of their remarkable abilities in a variety of areas including senior health care. Because A Loving Company understands and supports the idea that seniors want to age in their homes, we are excited by anything, including technology, that helps make that easy, engaging and safe. There’s a virtual treasure trove of Smartphone apps that can help with care, safety and well-being issues of seniors. These are just a few:
Keep In Touch (as the kids say: KIT)
Skype, which is free and easily downloaded onto a Smartphone, iPad or computer, is a great way to stay in touch. The easy-to-use program provides free voice, conference and video calls between Skype users anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. This offers the opportunity for face-to-face well-being checks with your loved ones, and social visits to relieve isolation. An extra perk is the ability to use Skype for grandma or grandpa to read a bedtime story.
AARP has recommended several apps which monitor the safety, whereabouts and well-being of seniors. iCam, which is available for a variety of mobile devices, permits you to remotely monitor video and audio feeds from a webcam to your mobile device. With its motion detector, the app can be used to monitor when the senior eats and takes medications.
Lost and Found
AARP has also recommended Tell My GEO, an app that utilizes GPS technology to monitor and track a person’s location and transmits that information to a family member or caregiver’s Smartphone. The app is also designed to help a lost senior identify his/her location as well as call easily for help. Tell My Geo stores medical information and doctor and emergency contact information.
The ability of connecting quickly to the appropriate emergency personnel is critical for any senior. 5Star Urgent Response connects the Smartphone owner with certified emergency response agents who are able to identify the location of the caller, assess the situation and connect the caller to a Registered Nurse, and/or emergency services.
The meticulous management of medicine is key to seniors being able to age safely in their homes. Smartphone apps that send reminders to take medications include MediRemind, Medsy, MedsLog, Dosecast, MedCoach and Pill Reminder. Many of these apps also connect the user with the pharmacy when it is time for refills. ePMR helps track medications along with consumer information, medication comparisons, FDA alerts, drug interaction information and more.
Disease or condition-specific apps exist including a variety for diabetes management.iBGStar is a blood glucose meter which connects directly with a mobile device. The app syncs diabetes management data including blood sugar, carb intake, insulin doses, and more. This information is updated and can be shared with family members and medical professionals.
Smartphone related technology is growing tremendously; apps not available today are possible in the not-too-distant future. It’s worthwhile for any family member or caregiver to stay apprised of available apps that might help make their role easier and less stressful.
Our next blog entry will address the value of Smartphone apps as they apply to productivity and lifestyles of seniors aging at home.